Gachagua vows to address alcohol abuse menace
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has launched a crackdown against drugs and alcohol abuse in the Rift Valley region.
The DP held a meeting at the Nakuru ASK showground which was attended by leaders from the region, including governors, lawmakers and administrative and security officials.
Gachagua said the menace must be tamed by, among other measures, coming up with more stringent laws for licensing of alcohol outlets.
“None of us has a problem with licensed establishments, but we have a problem with those selling poison from 6 am to 6 am. We have a problem with the people who have opened factories in their houses, and those smuggling ethanol from Tanzanian at night and using it to manufacture poison under the guise of alcohol,” said Gachagua.
The DP commended the police saying many of them were doing a good job in dealing with the menace.
He, however, said he had information that a few of them had conflicts of interest because they own bars while others were collecting protection fees.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki said the abuse of alcohol, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances was a national emergency adding that those involved would be treated with the same force as terrorists.
“We in the Interior Ministry are convinced that unless we address this cancer, we stand to lose the next generation of Kenyans,” said Kindiki.
The CS, however, warned police officers against using the crackdown to harass and extort legitimate traders.
“We have received reports that some of the officers have taken advantage of the efforts to harass business people who are selling products that have been approved by government agencies,” he said.
Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika emphasised the need for concerted efforts to intensify the war against drug abuse and consumption of illicit brews in the Rift Valley region.